The Top Rated Brandies From January 2017

These brandies took home the top scores out of all of our expert reviews in January!
Feb 02, 2017
  • 10
    The family behind the Distillerie du Peyrat has been distilling in the region for over three hundred years, but only in the last several decades have they produced their own single distillery brand. They produce 100% organic cognac, and focus on the terroir of their Fins Bois region, as well as its proximity to Grand Champagne. The Organic Selection is a blend of young eaux de vie with no age statement provided.
  • 9
    Sweet & Woody
    The St. Julian winery of the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation also makes apples for cider and some lucky Golden Delicious and Gala apples end up in this American brandy. All A&G products are distilled in the industry standard Carl stills designed in Germany. In order to achieve a golden hue the spirit ages for at least a year in toasted French oak barrels with an extra toast to the heads. Then the brandy takes a quick dip into a barrel that was previously used in a Cream Sherry solera for an extra infusion of color and sweetness.
  • 8
    Sweet & Floral
    A & G is the distilling arm of the St. Julian winery located in the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. The process of distillation occurs in a custom Carl still (a German maker known for their quality and scaled to the craft distillation process.) The region’s Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and Pinot Gris grapes are used for the wine base and the resulting spirit is aged for an impressive 10 years in Hungarian and French oak.
  • 7
    Sweet & Fruity
    Here, the farm’s standard brandy base of home-grown Muscadine grapes and apples receives an infusion of Moroccan vanilla beans and a rest in oak barrels. The 138-acre farm bottles this spirit in a very attractive jug as an ode to the South’s history of illegal distillation.
  • 6
    Sweet & Spicy
    Ready for a cinnamon-forward spirit made on a craft level? The Cinnamon Stick brandy starts with apples and Muscadine grapes grown on Chattooga Belle’s 138 acre farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains. These are distilled on the property and then infused with cinnamon in a barrel before bottling in a classic jug.
  • 5
    Fruity & Herbal
    The name MuscaShine is a combination of the popular southern grape Muscadine and the perhaps more popular southern clandestine distillate moonshine. The grapes used here, and in all of their brandies, are grown, harvested, and distilled on their farm making this a true vineyard-to-glass distillate.
  • 4
    Pronounced "door-chol," San Antonio's Dorćol Distilling Co was founded in 2013 by Chris Mobley and Boyan Kalusevic, two friends who met in college 10 years prior. Their first spirit is Kinsman Apricot Rakia, an unaged brandy made from de-pitted, de-stemmed Serbian apricots. After double-distillation in a custom-built 400 L., direct-flame copper pot-still from Belgrade, the brandy is chill-filtered then bottled at 42% ABV.
  • 3
    Rich & Sweet
    This special cognac is extremely rare and delicious. Although cognac law allows for vintages, they are seldom seen as many of the big houses encourage blending to make a consistent product. Jean and Roger Glemet take no shortcuts in crafting exquisite brandies on the chalky soils of Cognac's "Grand Cru" Grande Champagne. This represents one of their oldest marques, and only a handful of bottles make it stateside.
  • 2
    This Acholado (or blend) pisco is comprised of four grapes: italia, muscatel, quebranta, and negra criolla. All of the grapes, with the exception of the negra criolla, are aromatic grapes, which is exactly what they sound like: grapes which provide a fragrant aroma, particularly with floral and fruity notes.
  • 1
    Spicy & Woody
    Maison Ragnaud-Sabourin is a family-owned cognac house and they only bottle cognacs from the Grande Champagne region. The Fontvieille is named for their oldest plantation of vineyards on the estate and the cognac is comprised from three grapes: 60% ugni blanc and 40% folle blanche and colombard. Though they have classified this as an XO, the number on the bottle (35) is the minimum age of the cognac.